Oct 26, 2017
Soulful. Inspiring. Authentic. True. Just a few words that people use to describe them and their artistry, and yet ASCENDANT is…simply that…ascendant…rising above. From it’s start, ASCENDANT has been rising above… their fears, their obstacles and creating meaningful, soul-filled music in an era when such artistic statements just aren’t made but desperately needed. Take a listen to the soaring high notes and heartfelt harmonies. It’s there in every soul-drenched note; every colorful chord progression; every uplifting rhythm. ASCENDANT rises… and asks us all to join them in flight…
ASCENDANT is a state of mind; a state of being; an uplifting movement to rise above. It is a platform to express these ideas through the language of music. Through the band, ASCENDANT, the energy and expression is directly showcased and felt in performances and recordings. Within the structure of the music production and publishing company, Ascendant Music Inc., this expression is shared and utilized with other artists of similar purpose as well as other partnerships.
To that end, ASCENDANT has taken part in several causes that benefit the community at large:
Give a Toy Spread Some Joy Benefit Concert
Community Planning Leadership Summit for HIV Prevention – Hyatt Regency Chicago
Amnesty International Benefit Concert – SouthGate House, Newport, KY
Ascendant Food Drive for Chicago Food Depository in conjunction w/ Chicago Park District Concerts in the Park Series
NAACP Chicago Southside Branch Fundraiser Concert – The Blacker The Berry
We are focused and driven to provide the world with the best of our talents and to uplift, enlighten and inspire the same in others.
Kael Mboya - Keys/Vocals
Michael Lockett - Vocals/Percussion
Curtis Kincaid - Guitar
Renee Ruffin - Vocals
Kael Mboya (Keyboards/Vocals/Producer) is an accomplished keyboard player and recording artist with over 20 years of experience in the music industry. He has performed and toured the U.S. and abroad as Music Director or keyboardist with many artists throughout his career including Grammy winner Malik Yusef, rapper/producer Legendary Traxster and shared the stage with keyboardist extraordinaire George Duke. The band ASCENDANT was brought to life in 2000 as a vehicle for his unique musical expression. Always true to what the music is asking of him, Kael continues to share his musical and production talents with many established and upcoming indie artists through Ascendant Music Inc., which includes the band ASCENDANT as well as the publishing arm Ascendant Sounds (ASCAP).
Michael Lockett (Vocals/Percussion) always had music as a part of his life. Both his parents were singers and while he was still young he began singing as well. As he got older and understood how much music influenced him, he chose to pursue it as a career. After bouncing around various vocal groups, he joined the group Chi-ILL who later became Truce. They won various talent shows around Chicago and even traveled to the Apollo Theater, winning that competition as well. They released the single, Pump It, with Strictly Rhythm Records, toured the U.S. opening for acts such as Roy Ayers and toured Italy.
Curtis Kincaid (Guitars/Vocals) is originally from Mississippi. His family moved to Chicago when he was five years old. At 13, he began to play guitar, learning quickly and soon expanding his talents to play keyboards, bass, program drum machines and record music. While in college, he worked part-time at a recording studio and very quickly learned how to engineer and mix records. With determination and vision, he later completed and released two albums of original music from his own professional studio. Curtis has worked with producers such as Grammy nominated producer, The Legendary Traxster (Twista, Do Or Die, Mariah Carey) NO ID (Common, Jay-Z, Toni Braxton) and Grammy award winning producer Shekspere (TLC, Destiny’s Child, Boys 2 Men). He has composed commercial music for former President Bill Clinton, former US Ambassador Carol Mosely-Braun and other high profile politicians. He has opened for Brian McKnight, Yolanda Adams and Donnie McClurkin. As he looks toward the future, he simply says, “It’s all about the music”.
Renée Ruffin has been singing for her entire life – from childhood when she would entertain her family with impersonations of her favorite singers like Diana Ross, Dolly Parton and Cher to singing in church and school choirs as a youth to performing as a studio artist and in bands as a lead and backup singer. Her desire is to share her love of life and people through music, and to continue to grow her reputation as a dependable performer and seek ways to expand the use of her vocal talents, whether through sung or spoken recordings. She has performed and recorded with such Chicago legendary staples as Marvin Tate’s D-Settlement, Funkadesi and Bumpus to name a few.
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